I was recently asked “WHO ARE YOU? What the person wanted to know was why I should be introduced to someone, I felt was a great rishi – aka sage, saint, a person who has obtained what the Eastern Orthodox call theosis – a merging with the divine. WHAT did I want? Nothing, I replied. I just want to say, HI! That was the short answer.
The long answer is:
I don’t want anything other than to bow and say Hi! haven’t seen you in 5,000 years! How have you been my friend! Glad to see your soul is residing at Mt Kailash! Please send my love to everyone. I am eternally grateful for them saving my life so I have the chance at moksha or at least a few years of happiness before I get sent back.
For you see, when a great sage resides in our world he/she could be seated at a banquet table after giving a teaching surrounded by alcolates, but his/her soul is also, at the same moment, seated in adoration or meditation or chatting with GOD – or the GODS. That’s a concept few grasp.
Similarly, there have been saints, Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney (Curé of Ars) for example, who could see that a person was both in the church yard and in HELL at the same time. For those who do NOT believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of souls, or rebirth, or heaven, or hell, the concept is much harder to grasp. Some Tibetan lamas and tulkus have the ability to look at you and see superimposed all, or a great number of your past, and possibly FUTURE lives. It’s one of the abilities of a siddhar – review my previous posts please.
I can’t tell you WHO you were, but I can tell you if I once knew you and approximately when and where and if I liked you or not. So, I was happy to be sent a photo from my friend in Jalandhar, India of his guru. And I INSTANTLY felt I had to say HI – How HAVE you been all these thousands of years? You look well! In fact you achieved what few humans have ever achieved! How COOL is that? And that’s it. He’s busy. I’m kinda busy. I can’t visit in person. I’ll probably never get to visit in person. And that’s okay.
BUT WHO AM I?
What journey have I been on? Roller coaster, bungee jumping, carnival ride that’s what. My mother was born into a uber strict Methodist family with an aunt who married a Dutch Reformed and a few cousins that had converted to or married into other Protestant sects. She HATED the local minister, so when she married my father, who had been born into a Presbyterian family with a grandfather who had been an agnostic, she insisted on getting married in a brief ceremony with no frills with only her parents and her sister in the chapel in the rival congregation in downtown Westfield.
I do not know why I was not baptised right away, but they did get me baptised into the Methodist Church when I was four months old. I attended church, joined the choir, played the organ once or twice, and got confirmed. BUT my dad and I just didn’t buy the narrative. The first rumblings started in Sunday School when the teacher mocked the ancient Egyptians for believing that humans could come back as crocodiles. He mocked their beliefs with such hubris, that I got up, pretended I was going to the ladies room, and never returned. I distinctly remember murmerring under my breath BUT THEY DID! Reincarnation IS the truth.
My mom was psychic. She once saw her uncle who had died from a burst appendix standing at the foot of her bed yelling at her because she wanted to kill herself. She had a bully for a boss at what was then known Socony aka Standard Oil which would become Mobil Oil which is where she met my dad before WWII ,but never dated, until after the war. My mom could tell who was on the phone even before it rang. She was telepathic and oddly enough, having spent almost her entire life engrossed in the Methodist Church, she believed in reincarnation!
My dad was a genius and psychic. He was Mobil Oil’s financial statistician until they made everyone over 62 retire. A few months after he was forced out, they called him up. They had hired THREE Ph.d.s and none of them could figure out how to generate the annual report. My dad told them to pound sand. I adored my dad! He was a champion chess player, polo player, all round athlete, funny, crack shot, and my mom nagged him so much, I used to take him with me to audit classes while I went for my masters. We’d meet for lunch and take the LONG LONG LONG way home through the country where he’d want to stop for donuts or ice cream or take a detour just to avoid going home. And yet, he adored my mom – go figure. He was born in 1904 and she in 1917. They didn’t marry until it was almost too late to have children at all. The first baby was born stillborn.
BOTH my parents loved mythology and oddly enough, they loved all things paranormal. Again, I have no idea how this was not frowned upon, but they bought me a ouiji board and used it with me, runes, a palmistry kit, numerology kit, a book on graphology, and they let me use my babysitting money to buy every Erich von Däniken book as it was published. My dad gave me his copy of Will Durant’s Ancient Greece, his childhood copy of the entire Sherlock Holmes collection, several copies of Mika Waltari’s books, and his copy of Hendrik Willem van Loon’s Lives. Oh, and Plutarch, and Gibbons, and Bertrand Russell, and Ivanhoe!
They indulged my passion for ethnomusicology, ancient history and colonial and/or Victorian decor! They even drove me to New Mexico and dropped me off at Salmon Ruins for the summer which is where I met the 17-year old who would end up dying with a tattoo with the letters “Notorious Doc” burned into his flesh. My aunts paid for piano lessons and travel. My mother’s mother’s cousin gave me his entire mineral and crystal collection when he went into a nursing home. Each relative had a hobby or passion and each wanted me to be as excited about photography, coin collecting, stamp collecting, butterfly collecting, bird watching, shell collecting, opera, ballet or a composer or a foreign language as they were. so, I learned all kinds of things – English saddle, figure skating, ballet, folkdance, how to card wool, pottery, you name it. It was great.
And I think they would be happy to see me today despite the abuse I’ve endured. Yesterday, Mary Turner Thomson contacted me and said she was ready for me to upload my 74,001 word Tell All Book to start editing. YES, a book I started writing the day after I unlocked my late husband’s phone on November 16, 2021 is now with a world class international best selling author and publisher to be edited. THANK YOU Mom for subscribing every summer to Weekly Reader!
BUT WHO AM I?
Well, for what it’s worth, I spent three different summers on prehistoric archaeological digs. I attended a lecture by Margaret Mead, Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey, shook hands with Michio Kaku after he presented his Hyperspace theory on campus, interviewed Yoshiaki Omura (bi-ring testing) in his apartment next to Columbia University, and then spent three days in New York at training session on electroacupuncture, and spent time with several other amazing geniuses.
I did my doctoral dissertation on the impact of non-Western medicine on the biomedical model. I’ve studied a bit of qigong, a bit of Ayurveda, did a conference presentation on curanderismo, was the lead speaker on virtual reality at the 1998 Computers in Libraries Conference, presented my dissertation at the NIH in 1995, and I have received empowerments/or or one on one instruction and blessings from:
Pema Norbu Rinpoche, (1932-2009) the eleventh throne holder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. I consider Penor Rinpoche my root guru because he named me and gave me empowerment in the Kalachakra, Dzambhala, Amitabha, Phowa, Manjushri, Refuge, Bodhisattva and Vajrayana vows, Lonjong, and Shamatha and with whom I connected after the dedication of the Enlightenment Stupa in Poolesville, Maryland in 1998. After all the incredible teachings, everyone was mulling around and visiting. I, on the other hand, wanted to get one more glimpse of my guru before he left. I went out front and watched as his immediate entourage got the cars ready. I turned and up walked His Holiness. I bowed as low as my poor back could handle and kept my head down with my hands in prayer position. I did not break into a sweat. BUT I was mortified. Instead of walking past me, he came up and stood so that had I stood up, I probably would have bumped my head into him. It’s very embarrassing to say this, but my head was level with his lower waist and I held that position for what felt like an eternity.
I wanted ONE last glimpse not an up close personal, OMG we’re within each other’s personal space and we’re both sweating in the summer sun experience. To this day, I can still feel how mortified I was and yet I could feel his energy and he was just as jolly as the LAUGHING BUDDHA! His cousin, Venerable Bhakha Tulku Rinpoche, did something I’ll post about when I get around to talking about remote viewing. OH YES, I got to spend two days with him, also in 2001.
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo (1949 – ), a tulku, and reincarnation of Genyenma Ahkon Lhamo (First Throne Holder Vidhyadhara Kunzang Sherab (1636 – 1699)’s sister)
Sheikh el-Haj el-Fakir er-Rifa’i Mehmet Sherif Çatalkaya named me Aliya at the end of the first dhikr I ever attended in a dance studio in Times Square in February 1998.
His Holiness Sheikh Baba Heidar, aka Hazrate Pir Maulana (Mawlana) Safi Ali Shah II, Pir of the Nematollahi (Nimatullahi) Safialishahi Sufi Order Mahdia dynasty) d. December 2016 age 68. He was suffering from cancer when I was introduced to him in 1998. Very sad.
I did not study with my friend Cesar, a 5th generation curandero. Instead we worked together on projects and he introduced me to the late Elena Avila who I spent two days with. He also invited us to attend a kapuli meeting and a Native American Church ceremony and to crawl inside a replica of a pyramid the kapuli had built way way out on the outskirts of the city in the middle of nowhere. The only invitation I wasn’t able to accept was to attend a sweat lodge ceremony on a remote reservation near Ely, Nevada. Other than that, I’ve been there done that. Scratch that. I have never, ever smoked, nor ingested, nor injected ANYTHING NOTHING. One reason why I was not welcome at parties in the seventies or eighties when I most young people party.
PLUS THERE”S MORE!
I was baptised in a Tridentine Latin Mass to the then father Joseph, who is now a bishop, on a St.Ignatius Discernment of Spirits 7-Day Pre-Vatican II Society for Saint Pius X SILENT retreat at St. Malo in Estes Park, Colorado in March 2003!
But the late Notorious Doc threw a fit and dragged us off to the Maronites AFTER we spent 3 weeks on a Way of the Seven Churches Pilgrimage to Rome in May 2003 with then Father Paul Tague. ON FOOT mind you.
That’s where I met the now infamous convicted felon, Father George Chaanine, who had just started the process of preparing me for confirmation when he left El Paso, went to Las Vegas and almost killed the soprano in the church choir!
Instead I got confirmed into the Maronite Church by Monsignor Victor Kayrouz (Click on the photo for a bio and a video tribute) in a church located at 915 N.. Florence. The old church was in very bad shape, but it served its purpose and an organ and pews had been rescued from the St.. Teresa of Avila’s mission when it closed. Not long after the Christmas services in 2004, Harry’s rage turned on the Maronites and be yanked us out of that parish!
Side Note: The Notorious Doc flew into a rage one day while I was practicing the piano to prepare for church services. The Karams had asked me to be the church organist and this triggered him. He destroyed several of the piano’s hammers and the pedal on a 1904 Mahogany Grand Knabe. One of my prayers is to have the piano restored to its former glory.
But Harry Leo Duran was not done yet! He had both of us baptised in the Antiochian Eastern Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City in a HORSE TROUGH in February 2012 on a FREEZING cold day when the church’s boiler wasn’t working soo there was NO hot water much less tepid for the FULL IMMERSION adult baptism- not quite as bad as water-boarding, although it kinda resembles it!
To summarize, I have studied Gnosticism, Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism,Taoism but not as much as I would have liked, Hinduism, curanderismo, been instructed in the history and doctrine of the Methodists, Roman Catholics, Maronites, Eastern Orthodox, Wicca, and whatever seemingly crossed my path.
I have hung out with DEVOUT UBER DEVOUT Catholics, VERY involved Maronites, spent weekends with Tibetan lamas attending sand mandala constructions, bowed before a giant peyote seated on a large chair in the open desert, banged on a singing drum from Ghana and learned out to make a Tarahumara drum in a three day workshop, skated in an ice show, performed piano recitals on stage, played the violin in the college orchestra, danced on stage in a dance ensemble, ridden a horse on the trails on the Malcolm Forbes estate as a guest, toured China in 1987, driven all over Texas, Nevada, and Utah all by myself on back roads which I do not recommend. Had a Bigfoot encounter – although I did not get to see the juvenile, I did hear him.
And dealt with a ghost or ghosts.
I’m sure I’ve left something out that might offend someone dead or alive, but that’s a brief summary. OH and I saved a man’s life if that counts and banished a demon in a nursing home.
I am not special. But I do make for an amusing conversationalist at dinner parties which I avoid like the plague.
Now back to my regular posts. But some of you DID ask.